UTAH: Thousands of Utah Kids Using Suicide Intervention App to Get Help

January 06, 2017

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News
Speaker:  Utah

The Salt Lake Tribune

A free smartphone app has made crisis counseling and suicide prevention services available to youth across the state of Utah. Provided by the University Neuropsychiatric Institute (UNI) at the University of Utah, the SafeUT app offers access to around-the-clock crisis support services via call, chat, and text. In the year since its launch, use of the app has steadily increased, with crisis counselors recently receiving 1,000 text messages in one month. UNI Crisis Services Manager Barry Rose said, “The real goal of this [app] is to decrease the rate of . . . suicide in Utah. Crisis intervention is suicide prevention: It’s all about helping people get what they need when they need it.” Users also have the option of submitting confidential tips about issues of concern, such as bullying or violence, which are screened by UNI officials and relayed to participating schools. According to Rose, the tip program hopes to enroll all schools across the state by July of this year.

Spark Extra! Read more about the SafeUT Smartphone App.